The ballad of Roberto and Mario - Mancini and Balotelli ready for Azzurri reunion - AOL
Mario Balotelli: Mancini relationship is "perfect" - Sports Mole
The manager studiously ignored Balotelli as he was substituted only for the player to confront him and demand to know why he had been replaced. Mancini rose to his feet and started to berate him angrily before Balotelli stalked off.Mario Balotelli Vs Roberto Mancini
He needs to understand his behaviour has to be good in every game — not just in a final or a semi-final but every game. Football should always be serious and if you have a chance to score, you should score.
The ballad of Roberto and Mario - Mancini and Balotelli ready for Azzurri reunion
If you are serious, you can play 90 minutes. If not, you can come and sit by me on the bench. Mario is young, I want to help him and that is the end of it. To take him off after 30 minutes is enough punishment. It won't have been easy for him but it has to be a lesson. In English I would find it difficult to give you the translation. But Mario is streetwise, he knows he was not offside. He was referring to the derby win at Manchester United, where Balotelli shrugged off a fireworks mishap from the night before in his own bathroom to coolly give City the lead, unveiled an iconic t-shirt slogan and spearheaded a defining triumph.
He forced Jonny Evans into a red card and opened the floodgates with City's second. That Old Trafford lunchtime, it was easy to see what all the fuss was about and why it was maybe worth tolerating the accompanying madness. All the Balotelli hallmarks were there - the intelligent, pacey movement; the power and strength; the deft touches and the precise, no-backlift finishing. All wrapped up in a non-negotiable layer of mischief. Take when Balotelli demolished Germany almost single-handedly in the semi-final of Euroor his impeccable man-of the-match showing in an FA Cup semi-final win over United a year earlier.
Leading the line in the injury absence of Carlos Tevez, Balotelli played like an esteemed veteran in a win. Then, at full-time, he decided to entertain himself away from his celebrating team-mates by winding up Rio Ferdinand.
Mancini pulled him away from the fracas. Mancini and Balotelli were a double act City fans adored. Mancini because of where he promised to take them and Balotelli because he offered a brilliantly surreal reminder of the club's days as a freewheeling circus at Maine Road.
Somewhere along the way, during a sapping spell at Liverpool and underwhelming second coming at Milan, the fun stopped.
Roberto Mancini: Mario Balotelli can be better than Fernando Torres | Football | The Guardian
Manchester memories of wads of cash, piles of parking tickets and shopping trips for a trampoline and a Scalextric were replaced by more prosaic concerns. Amid persistent injuries, lost form and rock-bottom confidence, Balotelli even started missing penalties.
His two seasons at Nice under the shrewd Lucien Favre have been restorative and pretty prolific, with 43 goals, but the year-old has not played international football since the World Cup.
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A rumoured move to Marseille could light the fuse on the fireworks again, for better or worse.